‘We just want to make sure we’re being extra diligent’ - Update on Marion Central Plaza project

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:55 AM CST
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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) - Marion residents will have to wait a little longer for the new and improved City Square Park. The groundbreaking for the new city plaza has been pushed back to spring.

City officials said the more than $7 million renovation to City Square Park will help continue to grow the uptown area.

The project includes a refrigerated ice loop, live performance space, water features, public art and much more.

City leaders said it’s meant to be accessible all year long.

The project earned a $3 million dollar Destination Iowa award last year and Marion City manager Ryan Waller says that’s a reason in the groundbreaking delay.

“Those dollars come with different requirements from the federal government as well as the state government. So what we’ve been doing is just navigating that process to make sure that we are not jeopardizing that valuable grant revenue. So we just want to make sure we’re being extra diligent throughout that process,” said Waller.

While the project is now set to be finished late 2024 to early 2025, Marion Chamber of Commerce President Jill Ackerman said it will be well worth the wait.

“We have a lot of days in the state of Iowa, where you know when it’s cold outside and we really need to take advantage of that and provide people an opportunity to embrace the cold and get outside and enjoy some recreation,” said Ackerman.

Folks can get a look at renderings for the plaza at the city’s Christmas in the Park and Peppermint Walk on December 1st. The family-friendly event features a meet and greet with Santa, a tree-lighting ceremony and more.